Fully Funded PhD Studentship: Mechanisms of Mammalian Egg Resilience from the Macro to the Nano Scale

Swansea University - Biological & Medical Sciences

Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship in Biological and Medical Sciences.

Mammalian oocytes form in the ovary before birth, but remain quiescent for years, until just before ovulation. However, chronic infections deplete the number of oocytes in women’s ovaries, and there is concern that nanoparticles can damage cells. A fundamental question is how do oocytes counter the inevitable exposure to microbial and environmental toxins? The student will use bovine in vivo and in vitro models to uncover mechanisms that oocytes use to counter toxins and nanoparticles. The student will receive training in cell culture, cell and molecular biology, confocal microscopy, and handling engineered nanoparticles.

The project is a partnership between universities in Swansea, Texas, and Florida, and the student will have the opportunity to visit collaborators in the USA. The work is funded by an NIH programme grant and Swansea University. The student will be supervised by Prof Martin Sheldon and Dr John Bromfield, with expertise in reproductive biology, and by Dr Martin Clift and Dr Christie Sayes, who are nano-toxicologists. We offer cutting-edge research facilities in the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University Medical School.

The successful candidate is expected to start their studentship on either 1st October 2017 or 1st January 2018.

Eligibility

Academic Requirements
Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree or a Distinction in a Master's degree in Biological or Medical Sciences.

Applicants should have a basic understanding of mammalian physiology, and an interest in immunity would be an advantage. Experience with basic laboratory procedures and cell culture is highly desirable.

A valid driving licence would be beneficial but not essential.

Residency Criteria
Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU students only.

Additional Funding Information
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of approximately £14,582 p.a. (predicted RCUK stipend level for 2017/18).

There will be additional research expenses available of £500 p.a. to assist with travel and accommodation.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Wales